Automobile crashes and drowning are two devastating unnecessary causes of death among Alaskans each year.
We all abhor drunk drivers. We have many laws trying to prevent people from illegally buying and abusing alcohol. It is a very serious issue that causes all of us to work together to do anything we can to prevent drunk drivers from killing needlessly.
It is similar to boating accidents and drowning. Almost every time I drive somewhere these days, I hear a radio ad imploring me to wear a life jacket when I am on the water.
We don’t seem to be at each other’s throats about trying to reduce drunk drivers and needless drownings.
On average each year in Alaska, there are 79 auto-related fatalities, of which 28% involve alcohol. We average 57 drownings a year. That is 136 deaths from drowning and all car wrecks a year.
The other day, we reached a total of 141 deaths from COVID-19 since it hit Alaska. The disease is largely prevented from spreading by wearing masks in public and social distancing.
The hostility toward such simple measures, especially compared to what we accept in our desire to prevent death from drowning and auto trauma, is astounding.
Edward A. Schmitt, M.D.
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